Best Health

Cheater, Cheater

Stepping out on meat (part-time!) is easier than you think.

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Getting a little bored with your standard meat-based meal plan and curious about meatless alternativ­es? You don’t have to swing full vegan or vegetarian to bring more plant-based meals into your life. Instead, try the “flexitaria­n” approach and cheat on meat some of the time. It’s the one kind of cheating you can feel good about.

Why should I cheat on meat?

Canada’s Food Guide recommends eating a variety of protein foods each day—especially protein foods that come from plants. Why? Plant-based protein sources like beans, peas, lentils and soy tend to have more fibre and less saturated fat than animal proteins like meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy. The food guide doesn’t recommend avoiding meat entirely. It simply says that you should choose plant-based protein more often.

But what if I really love meat?

You don’t have to give it up! But you can find new options some of the time—and they’ll taste just as good as meat if you do your research. Well-made meat alternativ­es (like the dozens of plant-based swaps from Canada’s #1 frozen meat alternativ­e brand, Gardein)i taste great and have the same texture as their meat-based counterpar­ts.

How do I take the plunge?

Start slow. For one meal each week, replace your poultry, beef, pork or fish with a Gardein plantbased alternativ­e. You might swap burger patties for Gardein Plant-Based Chick’n Sliders, ground beef for Gardein Gluten-Free Beefless Ground or breaded haddock for Gardein Fishless Filets. Before you know it, you’ll be celebratin­g #MeatlessMo­nday every week and craving more plant-based foods like spicy crab arrabbiata with crispy crabless cakes or eggplant lasagna with beefless ground. Find tons of recipes at readysetea­t.ca.

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